WFES: Jordan to add 250 MW of PV as ABB, Masdar move in


The star of the MENAT region’s solar landscape shone a little more brightly at the World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi today as 250 MW of new solar PV capacity was announced for Jordan.

Switzerland’s ABB revealed the details of two projects that the company is involved in, which include the signing of a 50 MW central inverter supply contract with EPC Martifer Solar, and a separate substation supply agreement for an additional 52.5 MW solar PV plant being built in Jordan by First Solar.

The 50 MW project will be spread across four separate solar PV plants – three 10 MW plants and one 20 MW plant. ABB will supply its Ultra central inverters for the project, which is being built by Portugal’s Martifer Solar near to the cities of Ma’an and Mafraq.

ABB’s communications manager Jyotsna Ravishankar told pv magazine that ABB has been looking to build on its presence in Jordan for some time. “Of all the MENA countries, Jordan has the clearest legislation for solar PV development,” said Ravishankar.

“The country also has first-mover advantage and because it lacks many natural energy resources has had to import energy. Now, there is a clear mandate to focus on solar.” Jordan imports 96% of all its energy at an annual cost of $3.6 billion, or 13.5% of the country’s GDP.

ABB’s other announcement involved the supply of its substations for the 52.5 MW Shams Ma’an PV plant that is being constructed in Jordan by U.S. company First Solar and is expected to be completed this year.

Masdar moves in

The UAE’s Abu Dhabi-headquartered Masdar, meanwhile, is preparing to announce the signing of an agreement with Jordan’s Ministry of Energy to build a 200 MW solar PV plant in Jordan this year.

The utility-scale project will be the largest of its kind in Jordan, and is Masdar’s first solar foray into the country and its second large-scale renewable energy project following the commencement of a 117 MW wind power project in 2015.

Masdar clean energy director Bader Al Lamki told pv magazine that the company is expected to sign today a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the plant with Jordan’s National Electric Power Company (NEPCO).

Further details of the project are set to be released by Masdar tomorrow, but according to Bloomberg the total investment cost will be around $200 million.

Jordan’s solar PV sector is growing rapidly, with the country aiming to hit 500 MW of wind a solar PV capacity by the end of 2016. In total, there is 1 GW of clean energy projects currently being developed in Jordan.

The Master Strategy of the Energy Sector in Jordan has set a target of 1,800 MW, or 10% of the country’s energy supply to come from renewable sources in 2020. This strategy calls for 600 MW of this new capacity to be provided by solar power.

WFES began today and will continue through until Thursday, January 21. pv magazine will be reporting live and direct from the show all week.